According to the International Organization of Standardization (ISO), nearly 2.3 million workers around the world die each year while at work from work related injuries or illnesses.? Keep in mind these are the ones that are reported.? That is an average of 6300 workers each day, every 15 seconds!? A staggering 300 million workers sustain non-fatal incidents annually world-wide.

With statistics such as these, there is a tremendous amount of reputational and financial burden for employers to provide a means of a safe workplace.? Workers? Compensation claims, meeting and maintaining regulatory compliance and the loss of talent due to retirement of a skilled workforce are only a few examples of these burdens.

In an effort to assist employers in meeting these burdens head on, ISO is in the process of developing a new global safety standard called, ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems.? Doing this, will help employers provide a framework of identifying workplace hazards and establishing a process to minimize a hazard to an acceptable level of risk.? In return, a safer work environment for workers and a cost effective method to reduce workers? compensation cost and regulatory citations. Once finalized, the standard can be used by global supply chains and cover contractors and subcontractors in every country that supplies products and services.

The ISO 45001 safety management system standard is currently being developed by a committee of occupational health and safety professionals from across the world representing over 70 countries.? The intent is for the standard to be used by any employer regardless of size and process.? 45001 will echo the themes from other established management system such as ISO 14001,environmentaland ISO 45001, quality. Furthermore, the new standard will take into account other International Standards in this area such as OHSAS 18001 in the United Statesand the International Labour Organization’s ILO-OSH Guidelines.

?Implementing a strong occupational health and safety management system helps organizations reduce accidents and ill health, avoid costly prosecutions, perhaps even reduce insurance costs, as well as create a culture of positivity in the organization when its people see that their needs are being taken into account,? explains David Smith, Chair of the committee.?Wide adoption of ISO 45001 should reduce the horror stories in the media of poor OHS management leading to loss of life, injury and large-scale disasters, as seen in the factory buildings around the world.?

The premise of ISO 45001 is the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) model that is so familiar in ISO14001 and ISO45001.? The PDCA model provides a framework for organizations to plan what they need to put in place in order to minimize the risk of personal injury. The measures that are planned should address concerns that can lead to a sustainable injury free workplace.

  1. Plan:

Identify and analyze the problem: aspects, impacts, legal requirements, objectives, metrics.

  1. Do:

Developing and testing a potential solution: for example changes to organizational structure, processes, procedures, documentation, controls.

  1. Check:

Measure effectiveness of solution and can it be improved. Assess though monitoring, evaluation, recordkeeping, audits.

  1. Act: Implement the improved solution fully.

Currently, ISO 45001 is in the Draft International Standard (DIS) Stage.? If the outcome is positive, the modified document may then be circulated to ISO members as a Final Draft International Standard (FDIS). In the event of an affirmative vote, ISO 45001 is expected to be published as an International Standard by late 2016 or early 2017.ISO 45001 will become the world?s first international recognized safety management system.

ISO 45001

See timeline below:

Major Concepts of ISO 45001 are:

  • Context of the Organization ? understanding external drivers such as political landscape, economic conditions.
  • Leadership ? demonstrating leadership commitment such as motivating and support workers to effectively contribute to workplace safety.
  • Support ? resources, competence, communication and other measures necessary to put arrangements into effect.
  • Improvement ? non conformity, corrective action and continual improvement.


ISO 45001 Is Not?a system to address issues such as product safety, property damage or environmental impacts of a business unless the business decides that these activities create personal risk of injury.

ISO 45001 is not a legally binding document or a self-regulatory process.? It is a safety management system that is voluntary for organization to use as a process to reduce hazards to an acceptable level of risk.? Furthermore, maintaining ISO 45001is not the sole responsibility of the safety department.? Too many times worker safety is not owned by those who benefit it the most, the worker.? ISO 45001 is not a burden to business.? In fact, implementing a ISO 45001 effectively will reduce burden and increase productivity and morale.An organization that has a robust safety management system such as ISO 45001 will more likely go beyond regulatory compliance to ensure worker safety.

ISO45001 Roles and Responsibilities

  • Senior Management is accountable for establishing the ISO 45001 and allocating appropriate resources to support and maintain the safety management system.
  • Management is responsible for the implementation and adherence to the processes of ISO 45001 within their respective assigned area(s).
  • Employees are responsible for identifying and reporting hazards and comply with ISO45001 procedures and policies once the organization has decided to adopt it.

How ISO45001 Benefits Organizations

An ISO 45001 safety management system will benefit an organization in a variety of ways that include, but not limited to,

  • Establishes an international standard of safety excellence for organizations who voluntary want to become a registered site by a third party registrar.
  • Establishing safety and health policy and objectives.
  • Improving safety by reducing risk of injury through a means of establishing systematic processes.
  • Improved resource allocation that will result in increased efficiencies and reduced costs;
  • Establishes and strengthens safety culture by ensuring workers take an active engagement role within safety.
  • Establishes operational controls to manage safety and health risk along with legal regulatory and other requirements.
  • Displays business commitment to worker safety and diligence to meet regulatory compliance.
  • An organizational safety culture that continuously strives to improve.
  • An established practice of open communication throughout the business organization that is comprehensive and transparent, and where necessary, non-punitive.
  • Endless

5 Tips to Keep Your Workers Healthy and Safe at Work

ISO 45001

For more information about the status of ISO 45001 please visit the following website locations: